PhD candidate in bio-inspired coordination chemistry & catalysis

Updated: about 1 month ago

Are you exceptionally interested in a fundamentally challenging research project? Do you like to work in an international team of young researchers? We are seeking a PhD candidate who is interested in modern molecular inorganic chemistry research to push the boundaries of transition metal and main group chemistry in the context of C-H bond functionalization

What are you going to do?

Focus points in this project are the use of redox-active ligands and the introduction of base metal (iron) or post-transition metal (zinc, aluminium) in order to establish next-level contributions to the field of C-H amination and beyond. Opportunities exist to embark on a spectroscopic investigation of a recently communicated Fe-system, in collaboration with a US-based group, as well as further elaboration of catalytic applications thereof.

This project is highly exploratory and formulated open-ended. You should be a creative thinker that is comfortable to work on advancing a fundamentally challenging project, which may involve various physicochemical and quantum-chemical methods. This project will be a joint doctorate project between the University of Amsterdam and Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg.

What do we require?
  • An MSc in Chemistry with an emphasis on experimental synthetic inorganic chemistry;
  • ability to collaborate and interact in an international team;
  • willingness to learn new skills and ability to convey knowledge to others;
  • open to working in a bi-location setting and comfortable with remote consultation;
  • interest to acquire a joint doctorate degree from both University of Amsterdam and the University of Oldenburg (Germany);
  • fluency in English, both written and spoken.

Experience in and/or affinity for organometallic chemistry or homogeneous catalysis is beneficial.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (initial contract will be for a period of 18 months at University of Amsterdam and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years) and should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis) in a joint doctorate setting between the Universities of Amsterdam and Oldenburg. We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students. 

The salary, depending on relevant experience before the beginning of the employment contract, will be €2,395 to €3,061 (scale P) gross per month, based on a full-time contract of 38 hours a week. This is exclusive 8 % holiday allowance and 8.3 % end-of-year bonus. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities  is applicable.

Are you curious about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits like our excellent opportunities for study and development? Then find out more about working at the Faculty of Science .

About the Faculty of Science and HIMS

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 7,000, as well as 1,600 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The Van't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) is one of eight institutes of the University of Amsterdam (UvA) Faculty of Science. HIMS performs internationally recognized chemistry and molecular research, curiosity driven as well as application driven. This is done in close cooperation with the chemical, flavour & food, medical and high-tech industries. Research is organised into four themes: Synthesis & Catalysis, Analytical Chemistry, Computational Chemistry and Molecular Photonics.

The group Homogeneous, Supramolecular and Bio-Inspired Catalysis ‘HomKat’ is headed by prof. Joost Reek, prof. Bas de Bruin and also involves Prof. Jarl Ivar van der Vlugt; full-term employment at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany since 1 April 2020) as a guest researcher. The group is part of the Sustainable Chemistry Research Priority theme at the UvA. Central focus is on the development of new catalysts for known and new important conversions, using a multi-facetted and multi-disciplinary approach. New strategies to design catalysts, employing metal-ligand cooperativity and reactive ligand platforms are an important aspect of this approach. As the PI was recently appointed to lead a new research group at the University of Oldenburg (Germany), the candidate is explicitly expected to be working in a bi-location setting for this project, with roughly equal time spent in both laboratories in Amsterdam and Oldenburg and hence be comfortable with remote consultation and mentoring. To ensure optimal embedding of the candidate within both host institutes, Prof. Bas de Bruin will act as co-PI and mentor at the Amsterdam location, and as promotor in the anticipated international joint doctorate arrangement between Amsterdam and Oldenburg.


Do you have questions about this vacancy? Or do you want to know more about our organisation? Please contact:

  • Prof. Jarl Ivar van der Vlugt , lead-PI on this project within the Homogeneous, Supramolecular and Bio-Inspired Catalysis Group

Job application

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritise diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

Do you recognize yourself in the job profile? Then we look forward to receiving your application, including a motivation letter, CV and a list of publications, by 15 September 2020.

You may apply using the link below. #LI-DNP

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